Nuclear Safety

This report provides a detailed overview of research on nuclear safety and security, including their policy background and context, as carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. Organised in five chapters, the report describes relevant scientific output in nuclear safety; nuclear security; reference measurements, materials and standards; nuclear knowledge management, training and education and, in the last chapter, innovation. In the European Union around 27% of electricity is produced by nuclear energy. Nuclear energy plays a fundamental role in the EU for it to meet its own targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure its energy security. The choice to use nuclear power or not in the energy mix of each of the 28 EU Member States is a national decision and currently the situation diff ers signifi cantly amongst them. Today, there are 14 countries in the EU operating over 130 reactors, two of which have clear phasing out policies, and four that are investing in new-builds.

Certifico 19th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 21 May 2017

Uranium

A project to build a rare earth elements mine at Kvanefjeld in the south of Greenland is going through a definitive feasibility study and environmental impact assessment, or EIA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. The mine, which could help Greenland diversify its economy, will also produce uranium for nuclear power reactors. Over the last three years the governments of Greenland and Denmark, in association with the IAEA, have worked to establish a legal and regulatory framework for the production and export of uranium from Greenland.

Nucnet 19th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 20 May 2017

Terror

As of December 2015, there were a total of 2,889 confirmed incidents of smuggling nuclear material. Of this total, 454 were classified as incidents involving unauthorised procession and related criminal activities. This peaked in 1994, when nearly 59 incidents occurred. Clearly, this was related to the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union. Since then, there has been a steady decline except for an anomaly during the period from 2004 to 2008 — a period when terrorist groups were most open about their desires to obtain nuclear material. Of the remaining 1,622 smuggling instances, they were classified as other unauthorised activities and events; 762 were classified as reported theft or loss; and a total of 71 cases investigators were unable to determine the category of the incident. These figures raise an important point. Homeland security does not start and stop at a specific border or wall. It requires consistent upstream action in parts of the world far removed from most Americans’ and Western European’s radar horizons. Perhaps the most concerning of these smuggling incidents in Georgia involved the highly toxic substance Strontium-90 in 2013. It was discovered in Samtredia on May 29. This town is an important node on the Georgian railway network which starts at the port of Kobuleti. Another important node is the Georgian capital of Tiblisi, where the majority of the discoveries have been made. The most likely source of these materials is Russia. The route used to smuggle out of Russia comes through the Russian enclave Abkhazia in the north of Georgia, an area where criminal gangs are known to operate.

Homeland Security 17th May 2017 read more »

A new national “infrastructure” police force would be created under Tory plans to improve protection of nuclear sites, railways and roads. An organisation comprising the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and the British Transport Police (BTP) would be established under the proposed shake-up. The three specialist services are currently separate bodies. In their election manifesto, the Conservatives say the move will “improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network”.

BT 18th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 19 May 2017

Cybersecurity

The cyber security attack on Friday has highlighted the vulnerability of UK national infrastructure to malicious cyber threats. So far it is the impact on the NHS that has hit the headlines. But it could be far worse: what if it were our nuclear power plants that were disrupted? Next week- from 22 to 24 May – the Vienna –based World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) , headed by the former head of security at Sellafield, Dr Roger Howsley, is participating in the 2nd Annual Industrial Control Cyber Security Nuclear Summit, in Warrington, organised by Cyber Senate entitled with an important presentation entitled“Transformation, Preparedness and Developing Cyber Security Assurance”. It is instructive to listen to the words of Russian cyber security expert, Eugene Kasperksy, founder and ceo of the Moscow-based Kasperksy Labs, warns governments engaged in cyber warfare that “everything you do – it’s a boomerang: it will get back to you.” Four years ago he warned that Russian nuclear power plant infected by Stuxnet malware programme – widely believed to have been created by the US and Israel – had infected a Russian nuclear power plant, Speaking at the Canberra Press Club 2013 in Australia’s capital city. Kasperksy recounted a story from “the Stuxnet time” when a friend of his working in an unnamed nuclear power plant reported that the plant’s computers were “badly infected by Stuxnet”. Kaspersky criticized government departments responsible for engineering cyber-attacks, The Stuxnet virus was first discovered in June 2010 and was found to specifically target industrial control systems manufactured by Siemens. The initial target of the virus is widely thought to have been the centrifuges used in Iran’s uranium enrichment programme. Although the goal of the virus was extremely specific, its method of proliferation was indiscriminate and the code has since been found on computers across the world.

David Lowry’s Blog 15th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 16 May 2017

Protest

On Thursday, May 11th, 2017 German anti-nuclear activist Hanna Poddig went to the prison of Hildesheim (Lower Saxony state) in order to serve her sentence of up to 110 days imprisonment. She had refused to pay a fine of Euro 1650 (around INR 116,000) for chaining herself to a railway track, and finally has to serve the prison term now. Endorsements and solidarity messages can also be sent to editor@dianuke.org

Radiation Free Lakeland 14th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 15 May 2017

Hunterston

Hunterston ‘B’ is on course to operate safely until 2023, station direction Colin Weir has told stakeholders at a public meeting on nuclear issues. On January 13 this year, Reactor 3 was taken offline for its planned interim outage for 22 days. Colin Weir stated: “As well as excellent safety performance with no nuclear, environment or industrial safety top tier events or accidents, we successfully completed several maintenance activities and inspections during the outage. “The main purpose was to build up our understanding on the graphite core ageing process. Our findings underlined that the graphite in our reactors is behaving as experts predicted. This latest inspection monitored the three graphite bricks within which cracks had been found in November 2015. As predicted, there has been no significant increase in their size since the last outage. “Our modelling predicted that the most probable outcome of this inspection was that we would see between three and eight additional keyway root cracks. The results were within these predictions and we found three additional keyway root cracks. These results at this stage in the reactor life are within safety case margins and do not change our confidence that we can operate safely to 2023.

Largs & Millport Weekly News 5th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 6 May 2017

Radhealth

Imagine the following hypothetical: The World Health Organization (“WHO”) is deeply involved in a high level cover up of the human impact and dangers of ionizing radiation, intentionally hiding the facts from the public, a chilling storyline! After all, the world community depends upon WHO as an independent org t0 forewarn the general public of health dangers and to help in times of crises, not hide pivotal health facts from public eye. As it happens, that nightmarish hypothetical comes to life in an interview with Alison Katz, who claims: “We are absolutely convinced that if the consequences of nuclear radiation were known to the public, the debate about nuclear power would end tomorrow. In fact, if the public knew, it would probably be excluded immediately as an energy option.”

Counterpunch 2nd May 2017 read more »

Controversial placenta treatment could cure radiation poisoning after nuclear disaster.

IB Times 4th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 May 2017

Nuclear Security

Since 2005, every nuclear power station in the UK has had armed protection – the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. But why does such security exist, and what does the job entail? Occasionally, while on patrol, officers may make arrests. There were 11 in 2015, and there were three offences recorded under the Terrorism Act in 2011. He adds that he is based at Hinkley Point in Somerset. A new station in the area, Hinkley Point C, was recently approved for construction – though the decision was not without controversy. Securing power stations during nearby public protests against new nuclear power stations, for example, is another part of the job.

BBC 4th May 2017 read more »

Posted: 5 May 2017

Cybersecurity

The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.

POST 2nd May 2017 read more »

Posted: 3 May 2017

Chernobyl

Ukraine has begun transforming the radioactive wasteland around the Chernobyl nuclear plant into a huge solar-power farm. The government wants to install enough panels inside the exclusion zone to produce 2.5 gigawatts of power — equivalent to about half the capacity of the plant before one of its reactors exploded in 1986.

Times 29th April 2017 read more »

The world remembers Chernobyl every April, especially on big anniversaries, but for some people the disaster and its aftermath remain a part of their everyday lives, write David Moon & Anna Olenenko. In this special interview for the 31st anniversary of the catastrophe, one of the last returnees explains what it was like to leave after the disaster, and to come back to an environment transformed in surprising and unwelcome ways.

Ecologist 28th April 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 April 2017